During the fall months, it’s important to prepare your home for the colder weather to come. By taking the time to tackle a few (quick and easy) maintenance chores, you can save money on utility bills and protect your investment from the effects of harsh weather.
- Hire a technician to check your heating system and water pump to verify they are clean and working properly. If you choose to skip this step, you might regret it when you find yourself last in a long line to have it repaired on the coldest day of the year.
- If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, change the direction of the blades (from counterclockwise to clockwise) after you turn on your heat. Changing it will create an updraft and push the warm air down (as heat rises) into the room. This can be especially helpful for homes with tall ceilings. As a result, you might even be able to turn down the thermostat a degree or two.
- Caulk around all doors and windows. Silicone caulk is best for outdoor use because it doesn’t shrink and can withstand the natural elements outside.
- Inspect storm doors and windows for cracks and/or broken glass.
- Clean the gutters. Clogged gutters can cause leaks, as well as damage the roof, siding, or wood trim.
- Check the attic or basement insulation for signs of moisture.
- Turn off outside faucets and put away any hoses. Water that hasn’t been properly drained from pipes can freeze and cause them to burst.
- Clean out your inside drains by adding ½ cup of baking soda, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for ten minutes and then flush with boiling water.
- Mow leaves instead of raking them. Mowing leaves into small pieces will help them decompose and nourish your lawn during the winter months. Also, properly store your mower by draining any fuel remaining in its engine. After time, fuel left sitting in a mower can varnish the carburetor and cause you trouble when you try to start it in the spring.
- Clean, cover, and store outdoor furniture.
- If you have a pool, make sure to have it properly serviced and winterized. Install a pool safety cover to protect both children and pets. In addition, make sure the pool fence is in good repair and securely locked.
- Walk around the outside of your home and check the crawl space vents at the foundation. Close any open vents.
- Keep firewood away from the home to prevent termite and other pest infestations.
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